Breaking point has arrived for Liverpool

ARDA ALAN IŞIK
ISTANBUL
Published 18.09.2017 23:35

One of the most well-known British strikers of all-time and a diehard Liverpool fan, Alan Shearer, was furious after Liverpool drew 1-1 with Burnley in Anfield this Sunday.

Emphasizing the defensive problems of the team, Shearer said, "The truth is that Liverpool are no different under boss Klopp than they were under Brendan Rodgers."

Added to that, Shearer also complained about Jurgen Klopp's obsession with the direct offensive football and his lack of alternatives.

Now, it is obvious that Liverpool has serious defensive issues, considering that they have already conceded nine goals in their opening five Premier League games this season and rock-bottom Crystal Palace have only conceded eight in comparison.

Nevertheless, what Shearer argues for is the exact same mentality that kept Liverpool away from the trophy for the last 25 years. Yes, Klopp needs alternatives and more defensive preparation, but sacking him and returning to old-school British football cannot bring Liverpool to the next level.

First of all, neither Brendan Rodgers nor any other coach in the near history of Liverpool managed to play such an effective offensive game as Klopp does.

Give the devil his due, Liverpool has become a team which can beat any opponent regardless of their strength under Klopp's rule, and they are certainly able to score against any opponent if they are not extremely unlucky that day.

Thus, Shearer's comparison between Klopp and Rodgers is unfair and prejudice, even though as Shearer pointed out Rodgers almost got the trophy three years ago.

Rafael Benitez's team also missed the trophy by two points in 2009, but does that make his team better than today's Liverpool? The point here is that both Rodgers and Benitez dared to challenge British football and bring novelties to it, and Klopp is trying to do the same.

Just remember that no one remembers Roy Hodgson's or Kenny Dalglish's careful, defensive and traditional Liverpool, because what will carry Liverpool forward is the mentality that Klopp has at the moment.

However, Shearer is right on two points, Liverpool fails to show decent defensive effort and teams like Manchester City show everyone that if you can stop Liverpool's attacking plan, they are not able to adapt to the new situation.

The former problem is partly a natural outcome of the game Liverpool plays at the moment, if you attack in a wide area with a high pace; it is most likely that your opponent can also find space and time to create opportunities.

Nevertheless, if Klopp can find a balance between domination game and quick-counterattacking, he can find a solution for this problem.

Against Arsenal, a team which attacks generously and leaves large spaces in his half, it is easy to hit them with counterattacks. But where does that strategy leaves you against Burnley?

When a team is willing to defend and does not leave their penalty box, that is when Liverpool has to slow down the attack and create some controlled set-pieces on the opponent's penalty box.

Of course, I am not even talking about the disaster against Manchester City, an opponent which has no mercy for large spaces and shaky defense, that is when Klopp needs moderation and control most in order to eliminate the opponent's utilization of his strategy.

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